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We have been remiss in our emails recently, but so much has happened in the last few months! After our last group email we travelled North into Venezuela before heading out to the US. Strangely, and despite heavy flooding elsewhere in the comparatively small country there was insufficient rain to get Angel Falls up to more than a trickle, so we put it on the "next time" list.

Our flight to Miami was late leaving Caracas. This was not a good thing as we had a very tight connection to Washington DC at the other end. On arrival in Miami we ran to immigration and made record time getting through. We calculated that we had about 15 minutes to spare when we got to the American Airlines counter, handed over our passports and credit card for the e-ticketing. The lady asked where we were going and we said DC. There was a slight pause before she told us she had no record of our reservation. Then she found it, only to tell us the gate was closed. Then she realised we were actually on another flight to "Dallas"! As you can imagine this was not the best start to our North America leg - we thought we were going to Texas! As it turned out she actually said "Dulles", one of the airports in the DC area. Less than 10 minutes to spare.

The flight up to Washington was beautiful. The East Coast had crystal-clear weather and the patterns of lights below were really beautiful. It is strange how you can be in the most unexpected yet ordinary places and see something really unique and stunning.

At Dulles (surely one of the World’s worst major airports) we were met by Rene, who we met in Xela, Guatemala. She had arranged and paid for a wonderful hotel. Outside the ground was covered in snow and ice. It was so strange coming from the heat of South America. Another oddity was we showered and felt truly clean for the first time in months!

President Abraham Lincoln Washington DC United States Statue  Washington DC War Memorials

Rene was the perfect host and showed us around DC. In my ignorance, I thought that DC would mainly be government buildings and memorials, but it also has many excellent (and free!) museums. After an action-packed day of galleries, museums, the White House, Pentagon, Capitol Hill, war memorials, restaurants and more we said farewell to Rene and caught flight out to Indianapolis. We could have spent a week in DC and still seen more. It was a lot of fun.